Gerber StrongArm 420 Knife Review

Gerber StrongArm 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel review

Gerber has been making survival knives for the US Military since 1968. Founded in 1939 and based in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Gerber is an American brand whose products have global reach and relevance. Carried extensively by hunters, soldiers and tradesmen, Gerber’s heritage runs deep.

The Strong-arm carries on the legacy of a tough fixed blade knives for combat and survival applications. With a sheath that can be mounted in a variety of ways, this knife offers reliable use whether on-duty or off.

So In this article we’re going to review Gerber StrongArm 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel. And we’ll cover evry good and bad aspect of this knife, so that you can decide if it’s really worth a purchase for you or not.

Key features

  • The StrongArm features a black/Coyote Brown handle with rubberized diamond texture grip
  • It has a fine edge, full tang 420HC steel blade with ceramic blade coating. A striking pommel at the base of the handle breaks through hard surfaces.
  • A revolutionary sheath system that is the first of its kind.
  • Four mounting pieces and sheath can be used for mounting on MOLLE, belt, or in drop-leg fashion
  • Proudly made in the USA at Gerber’s Portland, Oregon factory

Detail review

Gerber strong arm is a fixed knife and has an overall length of 9.8 inches and a blade length of 4.8 inches. It weighs around 7.2 ounces.

 

Blade

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Blade of the Gerber strong arm is made up of full tang, 420 hc stainless steel. It is easy to sharpen in the field and holds a good edge for quite a long time. 420 steel has an excellent rust resistance property.

An ideal choice for you if you work in or around water or if you struggle to keep your knife clean, dry and oiled. The blade is about 3/16″ thick and Gerber did a very nice job with the saber grind and as a result, this knife cuts like a beast.

Despite what some people have said to me, it is mostly capable of making some beautiful feather sticks. The drop point has an unsharpened swedge for combat and piercing application. Though, it would be a bit hard on your baton for bush crafting so keep that in mind.

The profile of the blade is largely straight from the handle until the small belly, sweeps up to meet the sharp drop point.

While the popular offering from Gerber like prodigy and LMF-2 comes in only a half serrated blade. Which some folks especially bushcrafters hated.

With the strong arm we have the choice of either a full fine edge or a ⅓ serrated blade. Now if you are a tactical professional you should prefer the part serrated edge due to its ability to shred through heavy duty materials.

While if you are a camper or a bushcrafter, you will enjoy the finesse and detailed cutting ability of the full fine edge more. Non reflective matte black finish ceramic coating on the blade, is tough, wear-resistant. And not overly rough, to cause you any drag while cutting.

Also, in an actual combat situation the non reflective matte black finish keeps your knife low profile and less noticeable. Overall blade is nice and have great finishing. It comes razor sharp for the factory and Gerber’s attention to heat treat yields a pretty tough blade.

Handle

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Now let’s talk about the handle. As I have said earlier it’s a full tang blade, so tang runs through the handle till the angled glass breaking pommel.

The grip is fused over the tang from tough lightweight glass filled nylon that’s surfaced with a rubberized diamond textured.

I was instantly taken with how comfortable it felt to hold. This knife has a good and tight grip which will work in any situation(wet,dry or sweaty). This adds confidence especially when you’re in an actual combat situation where sweaty hands are common.

You can break almost anything with this knife from nuts to wind shield. Overall it is well built combat knife. And you also get different grip color options in this knife.

Sheath

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The Strong arm comes with one of the best designed sheathes I’ve seen from the factory. It’s a hard plastic sheath, or whatever exotic name they may be calling it.

But it’s still essentially molded plastic. It doesn’t have the fit of custom Kydex and probably isn’t as durable. And’s going to make more noise than Kydex, fabric, or leather will. But it’s the most versatile design I’ve seen in recent knifes. The sheath comes set up for vertical drop leg carry, but is easily converted to scout-style belt carry.

And while not as snugly fitted as Kydex, it securely holds the knife even with the strap removed. Violently shaking the knife by the sheath did not dislodge it.

There is a little more play (rattle) in the sheath than many plastic knife sheaths. Which isn’t completely correctable just by sticking a piece of foam inside.

But, once again, it’s less of a flaw than a necessity of the sheaths ambidextrous, absolute utility. Unlike most knife sheaths, the blade can be inserted edge up or down. Overall, its multi mount sheath system with improved friction lock system, reduced weight.

Pros
  • Highly durable, multipurpose and very sharp.
  • Ceramic coated blade for preventing rust.
  • Comfortable, easy to use and good tight grip.
  • Lightweight and molle compatible.
  • Multimount sheath gives it good protection.
Cons
  • Edge of the knife needs improvement.

 

Field Test Video

Conclusion

This is a budget friendly, lightweight and well designed Knife by gerber. If you’re an active outdoor adventurer or tactical professional. You’ll love this knife as it is great for medium to low profile works.

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